After the surprise of Cobble Beach last year I couldn't wait to go back this year, with the bar set high. I have to say, this year definitely did not disappoint.
I have become quite passionate about my local car history. The cars themselves, the organizations, the culture, and the people. I still have a lot to learn, but after the past weekend, I feel as though I have experienced more of it.
Somewhere in the back of my head I wanted to see a place where all automotive enthusiasts come together and appreciate each other's work, even when it's a totally different style. After attending the Northern Showdown last year, I realized that I had found that place!
In the days before the muscle car era, if you wanted to go fast, you had to build yourself a hot car. The factory options were really limited for a young man in the 1950’s.
The Watters Brothers are legendary in Southern Ontario for their Mopar muscle; but in the late 50’s, they were young men interesting in having a hot car.....
Perhaps the biggest duo in the hot rodding scene in Windsor Ontario in the mid to late 1950’s was the Desjardin brothers.
Not only were they founding members of the Push Rods car club, but the club dragster was powered by a fire breathing Bernie Desjardin Packard V8.
In the late summer of 1961, the St. Thomas Gear Jammers had clearly established the strength of the market for local drag racing. The attendance at their 1960 and 1961 events at the St. Thomas Airport had proven that.
Now; they were exiled from the airport, and needed a place to host racing in time for the 1962 season.
St. Thomas is an industrial city; and for most of the 20th Century, it was a great place to find high paying industrial jobs.
As a result of this industry, St. Thomas also has a rich history of hot rods, muscle cars, and drag racing. By the late 1950’s, there were enough hot rods and enthusiasts in St. Thomas to support two separate car clubs.
During the summer of 1940; with war escalating in Europe, Canada stepped up to become an Allied aviation training ground. The Canadian Government stepped up and quickly built many airstrips and air training facilities that summer. All facilities followed a common design, and they were essentially mass produced. In Southern Ontario, strips were created in London, St. Thomas, Hamilton, and many small locales such as the village of Fingal, Ontario.
A Tale of the Feature Car from the 2015 ELTA Bash...
This car was originally built; without the body, in 1955. It was powered by a Desoto Hemi, and it was raced at Kohler Dragway (Cayuga).
I was completely misunderstood. I always thought the story of Ron Box's first chopped top went like this...